At the end of January, the Central Bank proposed to ban the issuance, circulation and exchange of cryptocurrencies, as well as the organization of these operations. Previously, it was considered necessary to ban the mining of digital assets and start monitoring Russian investments in cryptocurrency on foreign trading platforms. At the moment, the government is developing a different strategy: the concept of regulation of cryptocurrencies, where the Ministry of Finance proposes to carry out all transactions with cryptocurrencies through Russian banks, identify holders of crypto wallets and divide customers into qualified and unqualified investors.
In early February, the largest international crypto exchanges, including Binance, Huobi and AAX, announced their readiness to comply with Russian legislation regarding cryptocurrencies and open their own representative offices in Russia.
The EU in the fifth package of sanctions, released on April 8th, banned the provision of services to Russian residents by cryptocurrency wallet operators, as well as keeping records and storage of crypto assets if their amount exceeds €10,000.
In the second half of April 2022, the Federal Tax Service proposed to allow companies to use cryptocurrencies partially for foreign trade transactions, this proposal was supported by the Ministry of Finance.
Russian companies may be allowed to pay for export-import operations in cryptocurrency. This proposal was made by the Federal Tax Service (FTS) when discussing the bill of the Ministry of Finance “On digital currency”.
At the same time, payments in cryptocurrency for goods and services are still prohibited in this version of the bill, cryptocurrency is considered solely as a means of investment. For legal entities, a clause will be made that will allow them to pay for goods, work, services under foreign trade contracts and receive proceeds from foreign entities in digital currency. Companies are offered to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on crypto exchanges.
The Ministry of Finance indicated on this idea that it requires additional elaboration and future legislative regulation. Thus, the Russian government wants to intensify imports and exports with countries that recognize cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
Therefore, the changes proposed by the Federal Tax Service may be useful specifically for businesses that are not subject to restrictions. Digital currencies can become a convenient alternative for international payments when it is difficult to access the dollar and euro.